The Progress of Pride: LGBTI Rights Global Webchat

Below are the recordings of the 10 a.m. EDT and 3 p.m. EDT sessions of the LGBTI rights webchats held on June 14, 2016 at the U.S. Department of State. In the second session, Judy Shepard was replaced by Jason Marsden of the Matthew Shepard Foundation.

This Pride-month LGBTI rights interactive program, hosted at the Department of State on June 14, 2016, features Special Envoy Randy Berry, human rights activists Judy Shepard and Jason Marsden, and Emmy-winning filmmaker Michele Josue. The event was moderated by Mark Bromley of the Council for Global Equality.

The panelists discussed the challenges, as well as the progress of LGBTI issues around the world, how the U.S. government and advocacy organizations such as the Matthew Shepard Foundation work to advance the human rights of LGBTI persons, and how dialogue can be enhanced through cultural exchanges such as storytelling.

With the Orlando tragedy looming large over the event, the conversation also focused specifically on hate crime prevention strategies and ideas for putting in place the building blocks for developing more inclusive communities.

The program was watched by viewing groups in 38 countries across all regions of the world and reached over a thousand live online viewers. Also joining the panel were audiences organized by the U.S. Consulate in Mumbai, India and the U.S. Embassy in Reykjavik, Iceland who asked questions related to LGBTI issues of importance to them.

Prior to the start of the chat, many of the viewing groups watched a screening of “Matt Shepard is a Friend of Mine,” a film that tells the personal story of the life and legacy of Matthew Shepard, a young man who was killed because of his sexual orientation.

Since 2009, the Obama Administration has demonstrated its firm commitment to LGBT equality and human rights internationally through the U.S. Department of State. This leadership on the issue began boldly with Secretary Clinton’s historic speech on LGBT rights at the U.N. in December, 2011 and continued with the appointment of Special Envoy Randy Berry, the Department’s first ever Special Envoy for the Human Rights of LGBTI Persons. #LGBTIrights.